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Apple blocking ads that follow users around web is 'sabotage'

“Intelligent tracking prevention” is coming

     
3:48 pm on Sep 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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"iOS 11, the latest version of Apple’s operating system for mobile devices, will hit users’ phones and tablets on Tuesday. It will include a new default feature for the Safari web browser dubbed “intelligent tracking prevention”, which prevents certain websites from tracking users around the net, in effect blocking those annoying ads that follow you everywhere you visit."

[theguardian.com ]
3:53 pm on Sept 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Looks like lawsuits will be filed soon. I can see the advertisers point, but at the same time, I look forward to not being retargeted constantly.
5:15 pm on Sept 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Ads are a necessary evil, especially for some websites who need them to say in business while providing free use to the user. However, I personally do not think that "tracking" is acceptable. From the print world, ads in magazines keep the subscriptions low, but they cannot track you. And I do not recall ever agreeing to allow any ad to track me. IMHO, that feature should be an opt-in, not an opt-out.
7:04 pm on Sept 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I do my best to inform people on how to opt out because it seems they are not aware they can opt out, or where/how to do that. OTOH, it is not nearly as simple to opt out as they make it appear. It can take several efforts and of course it needs to be repeated on each device.
8:33 pm on Sept 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Personally, I'd rather see relevant retargeted ads than irrelevant ads, but that seems to be the minority opinion.

I would have liked to see a better thought through solution from Apple, but of course they couldn't care less about the advertising industry; they don't dabble in it nearly as much as their competitors do. And the privacy argument is a bit of a sham if you consider the data phoned home by an iPhone.
9:04 pm on Sept 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I have to admit I despise being followed by adverts. It makes me a lot less likely to buy from that company. Perhaps I am also in the minority.

Mack.
9:49 pm on Sept 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Interest based ads are my biggest earner by far, so obviously not everyone dislikes them.
10:00 pm on Sept 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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And to think that an op-ed contributor was complaining just the other day about Google's plans to block autoplay video ads in Chrome. Next thing you know, Microsoft Edge will refuse to show ads that are interspersed with body text!
10:28 pm on Sept 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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If I *had* to see ads, I'd rather see interest based ads. At least it's something I've searched for before, so I had an interest it this apparently.

However, since these ads earn more, I assume it's because the user's attention is drawn to them because of recognition.

This may be the very same indicator why some dislike interest based ads... they are more visible and don't easily fall into the 'ad blindness' phenomena.

So while there is support for blocking the tracking methods necessary for interest based ads, that would also be the reason for not blocking.
1:32 am on Sept 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It's easy to comment on this, but difficult sometimes in terms of balance. I hate ads, never click on them (instead I research what I want), still as many of you out there: I run ads on my websites. But hey one thing doesn't conflicts with the other exactly, I didn't click on any ads before using them, the same with the tv: I'm that kind of person who getsup and does something else when the ads begin.

Anyway... when something questionable or bad is being done, there are consequences in other areas. What? Have you ever checked your bandwidth reports? have you measure how much bandwith the ads take, the tracking? the exchange of information between servers? the amount of time wasted?

Sometimes you just can't optimize your websites anymore... or their speed... unless you remove the ads, then you see it. So I can't say I don't see the benefit of such blocking.
6:43 pm on Sept 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Opt-in will allow these advertisers to see just how many people really want to be tracked like this.
7:29 pm on Sept 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Opt-in will allow these advertisers to see just how many people really want to be tracked like this.

There's a big difference, particularly in terms of audience size, between people who would manually opt in to tracking and thus more relevant ads, and those who simply do not mind, as opposed to people who do mind and want to opt out. It's throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
12:58 am on Sept 20, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I can see the advertisers point


Yes and no. I can see why they're upset. Their livelihoods are at stake (actually, let's say our livelihoods because my household is at least indirectly funded by the ability to show effective ads on the internet).

On the other hand, where was it written that the manufacturers of the hardware that runs the internet have an obligation to make every user trackable? This was never the case with radio, TV, or print ads. Suddenly, the ad industry thinks it's a God-given right on the internet? I'm sorry, but no.

I've evolved a bit on this over the years. At first I felt like Robzilla
I'd rather see relevant retargeted ads than irrelevant ads


But now I feel like Mack
I despise being followed by adverts


What prompted the transformation? Two things primarily.

First more and more aggressive targeting and the increasingly uneasy feeling I felt about being tracked all over the web.

Then, a special case of the above. Yours truly had his image used in an ad. You don't notice how you're being tracked, or at least I didn't, when it's just a set of products that you may or may not find interesting. But when it's your own mug in the ads, you tend to notice when and where it shows and it was *everywhere* This ad was for a small-time business with fairly rudimentary ad buying behavior. It made me realize that if they were tracking me that aggressively, what there the big boys and girls doing?

In my opinion, the ad industry broke the social contract at some point and now they are trying to glue it back together with things like the IABs LEAN campaign and such, but for me and many others, it's just too late.

So as a user, I applaud Apple.

As an advertiser... this ads some challenges, that's for sure.
4:59 am on Sept 20, 2017 (gmt 0)

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In my opinion, the ad industry broke the social contract at some point

The technology got cheaper and accesible to eveyrone. Mass mail was an issue years ago (and to some extent still is) but we evolved on filters and blocking spammers. Actually, big companies helped making their tools accessible too and easy to use (like Outlook, Gmail, etc, also blacklisting). The way I see it it (not that this is a perfect image of what happened) I believe it was easier to hit the origin, the bad guy, to block spam servers or creating custom filter lists (I know I did like some others) quite effective. But this didn't affected the medium, only the origin.

This is not happening with advertising. It got so easy to block the whole thing... it doesn't happen on a server basis, custom lists on adblockers are added to the automated ones making it simple, just install and there you go, you have no ads on your screen. Besides... whlie spammers played dirty, advertisers do so... too, in questionable ways affecting the web experience.

Email spam hurted due to the amount of emails.
It affected the space on your webmail server, your inbox
It forced you to clean and clean... delete.

Advertisers hurt the site you are visiting, hurt the speed, hurt the experience. They have become like a virus (viruses affect the host in negative ways, they kill the host), so... there you go.
 

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